The “First Response Plastic Tube House," developed by Peter Lang, assistant professor of architecture at Texas A&M’s Santa Chiara Study Center in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, and his associates in the Avatar architettura design group, is featured in the new Italian architecture webzine, “arch'it”:
The house is a complete, flexible environmental design
First Response Plastic Tube House, a complete, flexible environmental design that functions as basic unit, serves as the primary short term module residence, which, in the wake of a disaster, can be used to house refugees on a temporary basis.
The home module was developed for Avantar’s ElastiCity, a temporary community experience featuring variable term lifestyle arrangements in an open green park setting. In the ElastiCity concept, individuals and families can chose between a variety of off-the-shelf and customized units that can be positioned in numerous positions across the designated ground infrastructure platform. Every resident begins by filling out a simple questionnaire that is fed into the Periodic Table software©, which analyzes the personal data and provides the user with instructions and technological support to create his or her best home configuration. Each living-work unit operates through plug in connections to the Elasticity Infrastructure grid.
The First Response Plastic Tube House is designed to provide for immediate housing needs, and is specifically intended for emergency or disaster relief or unexpected population surges, following mass migrations or evacuations.
The structure’s flexible plastic tube and membrane envelope permits incremental expansions in volume, based on a minimum unit size of 100 linear meters with 10 centimeter tubing that can be braided into 40 cubic meters of inhabitable space according to each individual user's needs. A prefabricated bathroom catalogue unit is furnished with each assembly.
The plastic tubing operates on two principles: basic static structure, with optional compressed air to reinforce the structure in case of extreme conditions, and passive water circulation for heat and cooling. Lighting, warm water and other services run off of electrical solar cells grouped in patches on the membrane's outer surface.
Additional services, including supplemental electricity, media links and water and sewage are exchanged through plug connections directly into the primary Elasticity Infrastructure system.
Lang said it takes about a day to assemble a plastic tube house. The tubing is curled around in open radiuses and clipped together to develop structural strength. Coils of tubing running outside the membrane cycle solar heated water into the cell's interior.
Interior honeycomb floor surface is assembled with prefabricated soft hexagonal tiles containing sand mounted above gravel subsurface.
The elastic habitat is a project that Avatar started in 2005 for the Pneumatic Places exhibit in Vienna that was later canceled. The project was selected for the Biennale Internationale Design 2006 Saint-Etienne. For this occasion a 1:1 prototype was made by the authors in the atelier of the Mains D'Oeuvres art production centre in Paris, where the new Avatar's French branch office is located.
Avatar architettura inludes Nicola Santini and Pier Paolo Taddei, whose studio is active in Florence and Paris. The group cooperated with Peter Lang for the "Elasticity" projects. Other recent collaborations with Lang include Bambù-Steel structure for an orchestrated vegetal urbanism, presented at 2006 Venice Biennale, Italian pavillion with the contribution of Yona Friedman; Asphalt/Bambù for Environmental Biennale in Paris; Elastic Habitat for Design Biennale at Saint-Etienne, France; and Elasticity, an electric green for experimental living options, selected for 2006 Brasil Biennale of Architecture.
Lang's and Avatar architectture's collaborative research is oriented towards the identification of design strategies which privilege action, eco-evolutionary logics, reversibility, anomaly, ecology, flexible and elastic systems. The End -
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"First Response Plastic Tube House," developed by Peter Lang, assistant professor of architecture at Texas A&M's Santa Chiara Study Center in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, and his associates in teh Avatar archittura design group